“Free” is a powerful word, especially when it appears at the beginning of a phrase like “free website builders.” It’s natural to search for the cheaper or no-cost options online, just as it is human nature to be skeptical when the deal seems too good to be true. Being frugal, however, doesn’t mean you have to suffer with subpar products.
Website builders offer bloggers, entrepreneurs, developers, and hobbyists a chance to create a stunning and professional website in minutes with absolutely no investment. The 10 best free website builder programs set the bar high when it comes to features such as usability, online stores, and mobile-friendly designs.
1. Wix: Best Free Website Builder Software
In addition to the wealth of premade website themes on Wix, we love that the browser-based builder also affords users the chance to start with a stripped-down wireframe layout or a completely blank slate. Wix offers hundreds of modern, flexible templates that are surprisingly specific and tailored to various uses, but empowering users to strike out on their own shows the ultimate confidence the company has in their website builder.
- No coding skills needed with drag-and-drop builder
- 100s of templates with niche-specific designs
- Add features via the App Market and Wix Events
- Easily create ecommerce functionality easily
- Great way to build small sites on a budget
- Get started on Wix now.
Looking for something simple and easy? Signing up requires nothing more than an email, a Google account, or a Facebook account.
More than 90 million people in 180 countries trust their websites to Wix, which gives users 500MB of storage, unlimited pages, secure hosting, and a mobile site as part of their free plan. We find this host and website builder combo to be ideal for beginners, photographers, and bloggers, and it’s even our #1 recommendation for musicians!
2. Weebly: Best Website Builder for Small Business
Following close on the heels of Wix, Weebly is another all-in-one site-building solution that appeals to novice site owners. Created in 2006, the platform now powers websites for more than 45 million customers around the world. Weebly stands out as a drag-and-drop site builder that was built primarily for online shopping and ecommerce.
Featuring an integrated marketing platform called Weebly Promote, the streamlined site builder partners with its parent company, Square (of mobile payment processing fame), to provide top-notch services for small businesses:
- Design your site with the popular drag-and-drop site builder
- Fully hosted, drag-and-drop site-building and marketing
- Choose from 100s of customizable, professional themes
- Add contact forms and take RSVPs via apps
- eCommerce-ready and SEO-friendly with built-in tools
- Get started on Weebly now.
Weebly offers a free-for-life plan that comes with automatic SSL security, 500MB of storage, and a free subdomain. Plus, don’t forget search engine optimization and lead capture tools like contact forms. Users can get access to community forums for support, along with chat and email options.
3. Jimdo: Best Free Drag-and-Drop Website Builder
With more than 20 million users around the world, the Jimdo site builder platform is a trusted option for those looking to get online quickly and easily. Create and publish your ad-free, SEO-friendly website in less than 30 minutes by taking advantage of drag-and-drop layouts and widgets such as contact forms, maps, blog, videos, and photo galleries.
4. WebStarts: Best Free Interactive Site Builder (with Apps!)
Founded with the goal of streamlining web design, hosting, and domain registration into a single service — while mitigating cost burdens — WebStarts serves as a low-barrier entry point into the wonderful world of website building. Whether you’re looking to build a basic site, blog, or online store, the WebStarts interface is equipped to turn your design visions into reality, offering a “truly what-you-see-is-what-you-get” experience.
The WebStarts editor is easy to befriend. I drafted up my first blog post, added a few made-up products, and customized my shipping and display options within a matter of minutes. It’s worth noting none of that time was spent trying to find a feature or figure out how it works. WebStarts.com embodies intuitiveness and user-friendliness, which is why we love recommending it to first-time site owners and web design beginners.
What really tips the scales in this builder’s favor: There are a myriad of apps available to extend the functionality of your new website. Embed videos, add a guestbook or membership settings, or upload your WordPress blog simply by clicking one of the app buttons and following the on-screen prompts. These apps set WebStarts apart as an excellent free resource for building interactive sites, making it a strong candidate for the top-recommended free builders.
5. Moonfruit: Best Free Business Website Builder
More than 5 million websites have been built using London-based Moonfruit, the UK’s most popular site builder. The drag-and-drop builder feels familiar and comfortable, making it easy to jump right in. The traditional-looking interface feels a bit like a word processor and frequently receives updates and facelifts to keep things looking fresh. With each new edition that is released, the modern builder will continue to focus on usability and add functionalities such as responsive page editing tools.
Moonfruit’s builder is free and gives business owners all the time they need to craft a website for their company. You’ll need to make a slight hosting investment when you’re ready to publish, but Moonfruit’s base plan costs less than $7 per month and lets you sell up to 20 products at a time.
6. Duda: Best Free Mobile Website Builder
Several website builders enable you to create responsive websites that adapt to whatever device on which they’re displaying — but what if you want more control over how your site looks and operates on visitors’ phones? Duda is one of the few platforms that features a separate tool for mobile sites. You’ll get the same drag-and-drop simplicity as their responsive website creator but with special added features such as click-to-call buttons and integration with Google Maps.
With such emphasis on strong mobile designs and functionalities, Duda’s full website building platform excels with responsive designs. Users can further customize their site by capitalizing on personalization features that trigger certain events, such as displaying a coupon or notification bar, in particular situations.
7. Webnode: Best (Easy!) Free Website Builder
Boasting more than 27 million users, Webnode excels by offering premium features packaged in a free and user-friendly interface. One of the few site builder programs to include hosting and customer support, along with an unlimited number of pages and an ad-free experience in their free plan, Webnode can help you get your site online in as little as five minutes.
Webnode websites can support more than 20 languages and several levels of site navigation. The drag-and-drop builder will create mobile-friendly versions of your site, or you’ll be able to find some responsive templates in their gallery. Some of Webnode’s strongest features include visitor analytics, contact forms, and strong SEO tools.
8. Magento: Best Free Ecommerce Website Builder
Responsible for facilitating more than $101 billion of annual transactions, Magento is among the most popular and powerful eCommerce platforms around. In addition to cloud-based commercial options, the Magento Community Edition is perfect for emerging small businesses looking to build their first website or online store.
Like WordPress and other open-source programs, Magento provides interchangeable themes that affect your store’s appearance and functionality. Users can add extensions and other tools found in an online marketplace to add features and customizations. Magento, however, also needs a separate hosting account. No matter what you’re selling, the best Magento hosts offer the performance and reliability your business needs for minimal prices. Alternatively, enterprise customers may find Magento’s cloud offering, which does not require an external host, suitable to their business needs.
Top 2 Free “Website Builder and Domain” Hosting Packages
In addition to the options we’ve listed above, several of our favorite web hosting providers have painstakingly created their own website builders to help their customers succeed online. The tool is free and usually comes pre-installed, and customers are able to take advantage of a basket of hosting perks such as free domains, more storage and bandwidth, and more reliable support.
- Fotolia and Flickr image databases
- Pre-built and customizable content with GridBlocks
- Responsive themes with tablet and mobile editing
- Generates clean, efficient, and compliant HTML
- SEO, gallery, and forms plugins
- Get started on BoldGrid now.
- Choice of Weebly or WebsiteBuilder by iPage
- Mobile-optimized and easy-to-use setup wizards
- 100s of professionally designed themes
- FREE online store, shopping cart, and blogging
- Get 38% off your first month
- Get started on iPage now.
Simple Solutions Show You How to Build a Free Website
I’m certainly willing to splurge on a good product, but I’m a sucker for just about any buy one, get one deal I come across. I probably don’t need that second pair of shoes or an extra box of cereal — but it’s free. Like the BOGO deals, however, sometimes free stuff comes at a tiny price.
The lesson here: Don’t shy away from the ultra-affordable hosts who include excellent website builders with their plans. Your very modest investment will pay tons of dividends with all the extra features, performance, security, and stability you’ll discover. Free isn’t always best — go for high-value, low-cost hosting instead.